I'm always up for reviewing Bluetooth speakers (I'm getting quite the collection), so when I was offered the quirky Grand Xoopar Boy and Xoopar Boy Stereo speakers to review, I was immediately on board. In terms of design, they're unlike any Bluetooth speaker I've ever seen, though they certainly live up to that category in sound quality (for better or worse).
Here's the Xoopar Boy Grand and Xoopar Boy Stereo.
Grand Xoopar Boy
This is the largest of the Xoopar Boy line and features two tweeters with 10W of total power and a 3W subwoofer, which takes up most of the "head". Mine came with a little dent in it, but that didn't impede the sound in any way.
Yeah, I said "head", and I'm not talking about a speaker head. Well, technically I am. These speakers basically look like Toad from the Super Mario games. They're little, big-headed, faceless dudes with posable arms and a headband that separates the bass driver from the tweeters, which are on the back and front of the head, respectively. There are three buttons on the back, play/pause, and volume up/down (can be used to skip tracks), as well as a Micro-USB port for charging and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The movable arms are a cute touch, since you can kind of pose him in a dancing position to get the party going. Really, at the end of the day, this speaker is best described as a "conversation piece. It's about 8 inches tall and would take up residence perfectly on a bookshelf or side table.
I have to say that I was initially disappointed with how the Grand Xoopar Boy sounds. For $179, I expected much warmer tones and stronger bass, but a lot of that cost must be attributed to it being a little dude rather than just a brick of a Bluetooth speaker.
That being said, after listening for about 10 minutes, I started to come around and after a bit I actually forgot I was listening to this specific speaker and just enjoyed the music. So if you're not an audiophile and just want a fun speaker that catches the eye and can act as a decent little sound system for a small room (and I emphasize small), then this could be your answer. Though I might wait until the price drops a bit (if that's going to happen).
Xoopar Boy Stereo
This smaller Xoopar Boy is $79, which I think is well overpriced, if we're being completely objective. It's cute, it's fun, but it certainly lacks in sound quality. It really lacks warmth, but at the end of the day there isn't too much you can expect from such a small speaker, so if that price were to come down to $60 or lower, I would say it's worth it.
I got the pink Xoopar Boy Stereo, which is a lovely muted hot pink, with a metallic pink headband and speaker mesh for a face instead of the solid plastic face of the Grand Xoopar Boy (though there is no speaker behind the mesh — it's all on the top of the head).
The body of the Stereo lights up, and it's a fun, bright light that pulses, and you can turn it off with the button on the back. The whackiest thing about this particular model is the verbage when you turn it on and off. I jumped outta my skin when I first turned it on and it went "HELLO, I AM ON!" Then it says "I'm lookin' around" when it's in pairing mode and "I gotcha!" once paired. It's a little weird at first — quite a departure from "Ready to pair… Paired," but it's kind of endearing after a bit.
The feet have silicone pads so they don't slip and so the unit stays standing, and that works wonderfully. The overall weight also helps this speaker feel well-built and sturdy.
While the Xoopar Boy Stereo might be well-made, it's still a little too gimmicky and not focused enough on sound. It's the mid-range is very present, and the high end isn't all that crisp, nor is the low end very noticeable. It basically sounds like you're listening to a shower radio from outside the shower (if that makes sense). Really, what can you expect from such a small speaker at the end of the day?
If I was outside in the summer and wanted something on while I barbecued or something, then this would do in a pinch. If you want something to have on low while you're having a little get together, however, I'd look elsewhere. At low volumes, it kind of just sounds like noise.
You can pair two of these togethers to get a stereo pair (as the name would suggest), and that might make for better sound, especially if you have them on opposite sides of the room or something. Would I personally buy the Xoopar Boy Stereo if I was looking for something quirky and fun? Not for $79. Again, for $50 to $60, probably.
If you're looking for a fun gift for your kid's bedroom or playroom, this would be a great option. And it comes in five colors, so there's a style for everyone.
Mick is a staff writer who's as frugal as they come, so he always does extensive research (much to the exhaustion of his wife) before making a purchase. If it's not worth the price, Mick ain't buying.
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